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Heat shock may disrupt oocyte function by increasing the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We evaluated the capacity of the antioxidant melatonin to protect oocytes using two models of oxidative stress – heat shock and the pro-oxidant menadione. Bovine cumulus–oocyte complexes (COC) were exposed in the presence or absence of 1 µM melatonin to the following treatments during maturation: 38.5°C, 41°C and 38.5°C+5 µM menadione. In the first experiment, COC were matured for 3 h with 5 µM CellROX® and analyzed by epifluorescence microscopy to quantify production of ROS. The intensity of ROS was greater for oocytes exposed to heat shock and menadione than for control oocytes. Melatonin reduced ROS intensity for heat-shocked oocytes and oocytes exposed to menadione, but not for control oocytes. In the second experiment, COC were matured for 22 h. After maturation, oocytes were fertilized and the embryos cultured for 7.5 days. The proportion of oocytes that cleaved after fertilization was lower for oocytes exposed to heat shock and menadione than for control oocytes. Melatonin increased cleavage for heat-shocked oocytes and oocytes exposed to menadione, but not for control oocytes. Melatonin tended to increase the developmental competence of embryos from heat-shocked oocytes but not for embryos from oocytes exposed to menadione or from control oocytes. In conclusion, melatonin reduced production of ROS of maturing oocytes and protected oocytes from deleterious effects of both stresses on competence of the oocyte to cleave after coincubation with sperm. These results suggest that excessive production of ROS compromises oocyte function.
The disease caused by the influenza virus is a global public health problem due to its high rates of morbidity and mortality. Thus, analysis of the information generated by epidemiological surveillance systems has vital importance for health decision making. A retrospective analysis was performed using data generated by the four molecular diagnostic laboratories of the Mexican Social Security Institute between 2010 and 2016. Demographics, influenza positivity, seasonality, treatment choices and vaccination status analyses were performed for the vaccine according to its composition for each season. In all cases, both the different influenza subtypes and different age groups were considered separately. The circulation of A/H1N1pdm09 (48.7%), influenza A/H3N2 (21.1%), influenza B (12.6%), influenza A not subtyped (11%) and influenza A/H1N1 (6.6%) exhibited well-defined annual seasonality between November and March, and there were significant increases in the number of cases every 2 years. An inadequate use of oseltamivir was determined in 38% of cases, and the vaccination status in general varied between 12.1 and 18.5% depending on the season. Our results provide current information about influenza in Mexico and demonstrate the need to update both operational case definitions and medical practice guidelines to reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics and antivirals.
The increasing availability of automated milk dispensers on dairy farms facilitates ad libitum milk supply but weaning calves from high milk allowances is challenging. This study evaluated effects of gradual weaning methods on starter intake, growth, selected blood parameters and weaning distress in ad libitum fed dairy calves during weaning and early post-weaning periods. Thirty-six male Holstein (n = 30) or crossbred (n = 6) calves were individually housed from days 2 to 14 of age and had ad libitum access to milk replacer (MR) from teat buckets. From days 15 to 84 of age, calves were grouped and had ad libitum access to MR, starter, straw and water from automated feeders. At day 35, calves were blocked (age and breed), and randomly assigned to a weaning method: (1) linear fixed (LIN), MR supply was stepped down to 6 l/day on day 36, and linearly reduced between days 36 to 63 from 6 to 2 l/day. (2) Step-down (STEP), MR supply was stepped down to 6 l/day from days 36 to 48, 4 l/day from days 49 to 56 and 2 l/day from days 57 to 63. (3) Dynamic (DYN), at day 36, MR supply was reduced for each individual calf to 75% of the average voluntary consumption between day 29 and 35, then maintained for 9 days, reduced to 50% for 10 days, and to 25% for 9 days. The DYN calves received more MR during weaning than LIN calves, whereas STEP calves had intermediate MR intake. Starter intake was not affected by weaning method. The DYN calves (1.33±0.08 kg/day) grew faster and were heavier than STEP calves (1.10±0.08 kg/day) during post-weaning period, whereas no difference was observed between LIN calves (1.23±0.08 kg/day) and others. At days 70 and 84, concentrations of β-hydroxybutyric acid were higher in LIN calves compared to STEP and DYN calves. Hair cortisol concentrations were not affected by weaning method. During the gradual weaning process CP intake seemed to recovered earlier than metabolizable energy (ME) intake in all treatments, suggesting that ME rather than CP could be the first limiting factor for growth during weaning. These results highlight the post-weaning benefits of DYN and LIN weaning methods when compared with more abrupt step-down strategies.
Over the last decade, polymer composites reinforced with natural fibers gained interest, both from the academic world and from various industries. Due to the demanding needs for environmentally friendly composites, the automotive industry is now searching for biodegradable and renewable composite materials and products. There are a wide variety of different natural fibers which can be applied as reinforcement or fillers, showing potential as a replacement for inorganic fibers in automotive components. The fact that plastics are often economical to produce implies an advantage especially in very complex shapes, make them promising for obtaining composite materials, achieving short demolding times, as no chemical reaction is required. Moreover, polymers are used increasingly for stressed tribological components, whereby plastic parts replace metallic bearings, gear wheels or sliding elements. In this regard, the objective of this work was to produce composite materials based on natural fibers and to characterize the influence of the addition of different amounts of filler. To do so, composites of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and peanut shells (PS), at different proportions (2, 4 6, 8 and 10% wt.), were prepared. The composites were produced by injection molding and molded into a particular tension test simple mold. Although the FTIR presented an increment on the O-H vibration and a band around 1600 cm-1, the HDPE structure did not present modification. The mechanical properties of the HDPE were affected with the inclusion of the fibers. The tensile performance of the HDPE decrease with the increment of the fibers inclusion whiles the elastic modulus increases. The sample with 2% of natural fibers presented the lowest wear rate (k) and coefficient of friction (µ).
When supplementing lamb diets with vitamin E, an equivalence factor of 1.36 is used to discriminate between RRR-α-tocopheryl acetate and all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate. However, more recent studies suggest a need for new equivalence factors for livestock animals. The current study aimed to determine the effect of RRR- and all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate supplementation on α-tocopherol deposition in lamb tissues. A total of 108 Rasa Aragonesa breed lambs were fed increasing amounts of all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate (0.25, 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 g/kg compound feed) or RRR-α-tocopheryl acetate (0.125, 0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 g/kg compound feed) by adding them to a basal diet that contained 0.025 g/kg feed of all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate as part of the standard vitamin and mineral mixture. The diets were fed for the last 14 days before slaughtering at 25.8±1.67 kg BW. Within 20 min after slaughter samples of muscle, heart, liver, brain and spleen were frozen at −20°C until α-tocopherol analysis. Increased supplementation of either vitamin E sources led to a significant increase (P < 0.001) in α-tocopherol concentration in all tissues studied. The tissue with the highest α-tocopherol concentration was the liver followed by spleen, heart and muscle. At similar supplementation levels (0.25, 0.50 and 1.0 g/kg compound feed), α-tocopherol content in the selected tissues was not affected by α-tocopherol source. However, the ratios between RRR- and all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate increased with the increasing α-tocopherol supplementation (at 0.25 and 1.0 g/kg compound feed), from 1.06 to 1.16 in muscle, 1.07 to 1.15 in heart, 0.91 to 0.94 in liver and 0.98 to 1.10 in spleen. The highest relative proportion of Ʃ2S (sum of SSS-, SSR-, SRS- and SRR-α-tocopherol)-configured stereoisomers was found in the liver of lambs supplemented with all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate accounting for up to 35 to 39% of the total α-tocopherol retained, whereas the proportion of Ʃ2S-configured stereoisomers in the other tissues accounted for <14%. Increasing all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate supplementation was also found to affect the 2R-configured stereoisomer profile in muscle, heart and spleen with increasing proportions of RRS-, RSR- and RSS- at the cost of RRR-α-tocopherol. In all tissues, the relative proportion of all non-RRR-stereoisomers in lambs receiving RRR-α-tocopheryl acetate was lower than RRR-α-tocopherol. These results confirm that the relative bioavailability of RRR- and all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate is dose- and tissue-dependent and that a single ratio to discriminate the two sources cannot be used.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the Southern region of the State of Bahia, evaluating the performance of alternative complementary methods for cervical lesion detection. Cervical samples from women who attended healthcare units were collected and diagnosed by visual inspection, cervical cytology and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Moreover, hemi-nested PCR was performed to detect different HPV genotypes. The prevalence of HPV infection was 47·7%, with genotype 16 detected in most cases. Infection was associated with dyspareunia and bleeding (P < 0·001, odds ratio (OR) 5·6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·815–11·14) and hormonal contraceptive use (P = 0·007, OR 2·33, 95% CI 1·25–4·34). There was a positive correlation between positive PCR and positive visual inspection, cervical cytology and symptoms reported. Furthermore, visual inspection was twice as specific, and had a greater positive predictive value than cytology. We showed a high prevalence of HPV infection in Southern Bahia, with HPV 16 being the most common type, and visual inspection being most effective at detecting HPV lesions, corroborating the suggestion that it can be applied in routine gynecologic examinations for low-income populations.
To conduct a full economic evaluation assessing the costs and consequences related to probiotic use for the primary prevention of Clostridium difficile–associated diarrhea (CDAD).
Cost-effectiveness analysis using decision analytic modeling.
A cost-effectiveness analysis was used to evaluate the risk of CDAD and the costs of receiving oral probiotics versus not over a time horizon of 30 days. The target population modeled was all adult inpatients receiving any therapeutic course of antibiotics from a publicly funded healthcare system perspective. Effectiveness estimates were based on a recent systematic review of probiotics for the primary prevention of CDAD. Additional estimates came from local data and the literature. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess how plausible changes in variables impacted the results.
Treatment with oral probiotics led to direct costs of CDN $24 per course of treatment per patient. On average, patients treated with oral probiotics had a lower overall cost compared with usual care (CDN $327 vs $845). The risk of CDAD was reduced from 5.5% in those not receiving oral probiotics to 2% in those receiving oral probiotics. These results were robust to plausible variation in all estimates.
Oral probiotics as a preventive strategy for CDAD resulted in a lower risk of CDAD as well as cost-savings. The cost-savings may be greater in other healthcare systems that experience a higher incidence and cost associated with CDAD.
Patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clones, which were traditionally seen in the community setting (USA400/CMRSA7 and USA300/CMRSA10), are often identified as hospital-acquired (HA) infections using Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) surveillance definitions. This study examined the demographics and healthcare risk factors of patients with HA-MRSA to help understand if community MRSA clones are from a source internal or external to the hospital setting. Despite USA300/CMRSA10 being the predominant clone in Alberta, hospital clones (USA100/CMRSA2) still dominated in the acute care setting. In the Alberta hospitalized population, patients with USA400/CMRSA7 and USA300/CMRSA10 clones were significantly younger, had fewer comorbidities, and a greater proportion had none or ambulatory care-only healthcare exposure. These findings suggest that there are two distinct populations of HA-MRSA patients, and the patients with USA400/CMRSA7 and USA300/CMRSA10 clones identified in hospital more greatly resemble patients affected by those clones in the community. It is possible that epidemiological assessment overidentifies HA acquisition of MRSA in patients unscreened for MRSA on admission to acute care.
We calculate here the force on a probe at a viscous, compressible interface, laden with soluble surfactant that equilibrates on a finite time scale. The motion of the probe through the interface drives variations in the surfactant concentration at the interface that in turn leads to a Marangoni flow that contributes to the force on the probe. We demonstrate that the Marangoni force on the probe depends non-trivially on the surface shear and dilatational viscosities of the interface indicating the difficulty in extracting these material properties from force measurements at compressible interfaces.
The enzymatic activities of NTPDase and 5′nucleotidase are important to regulate the concentration of adenine nucleotides, known molecules involved in many physiological functions. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the activity of NTPDase and 5′nucleotidase in serum and liver tissue of rats infected by Fasciola hepatica. Rats were divided into two groups: uninfected control and infected. NTPDase activity for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and ADP substrates in the liver was higher compared with the control group at 15 days post-infection (PI), while seric activity was lower. In addition, seric and hepatic samples did not show changes for 5′nucleotidase activity at this time. On the other hand, either NTPDase or 5′nucleotidase activities in liver homogenate and serum were higher at 87 days PI. Early in the infection, low NTPDase activity maintains an increase of ATP in the bloodstream in order to activate host immune response, while in hepatic tissue it decreases extracellular ATP to maintain a low inflammatory response in the tissue. As stated, higher NTPDase and 5′nucleotidase activities 87 days after infection in serum and tissue, probably results on an increased concentration of adenosine molecule which stimulates a Th2 immune response. Thus, it is possible to conclude that F. hepatica infections lead to different levels of nucleotide degradation when considering the two stages of infection studied, which influences the inflammatory and pathological processes developed by the purinergic system.
We evaluated the effect of feeding dietary tannins from Lysiloma latisiliquum fresh forage on the saliva tannin-binding capacity of hair sheep lambs without previous exposure to tannin-rich (TR) fodder. Twenty-four hair sheep lambs (13.6±3.04 kg LW) were fed a tannin-free diet at the beginning of the experimental period (from day 10 to 13). On day 14, lambs were distributed into three groups (n=8): control group (CG), fed with the tannin-free diet (from D10 to D112); tannin short-term group (TST), fed the basal diet and 650 g of L. latisiliquum forage (from D14 to D55); tannin long-term group (TLT), fed the basal diet and 650 g of L. latisiliquum forage (from D14 to D112). Saliva samples were collected from the mouth of each lamb in the morning before feeding time on D10 and D14 (baseline period), on D49 and D56 (period 1) and on D97 and D112 (period 2). The tannin binding response of salivary protein (∆% turbidity) was determined with the haze development test (HDT) using either tannic acid or L. latisiliquum forage acetone extract. A turbidity protein index (TPI) was calculated as (∆% turbidity/[salivary protein (mg)]). Differences in HDT and TPI in the different groups were compared by repeated measures ANOVA using Proc Mixed. All groups had similar ∆% turbidity throughout the experiment (P>0.05). At baseline and period 1, the TPI of the different groups was similar (P>0.05). On period 2 the TLT group showed higher TPI compared with CG (P<0.05). Meanwhile, CG and TST showed similar salivary TPI. The saliva of hair sheep lambs consuming TR L. latisiliquum fresh fodder (TLT group) increased their TPI compared with control lambs not exposed to tannins.
To describe the epidemiology of infections related to the use of implantable central venous access devices (CVADs) in cancer patients and to evaluate measures aimed at reducing the rates of such infections.
Prospective cohort study.
Referral hospital for cancer in São Paulo, Brazil.
We prospectively evaluated all implantable CVADs employed between January 2009 and December 2011. Inpatients and outpatients were followed until catheter removal, transfer to another facility, or death.
Outcome measures were bloodstream infection and pocket infection. We also evaluated the effects that the creation of a multidisciplinary team for CVAD care, avoiding in-hospital implantation of CVADs, and limiting CVAD insertion in neutropenic patients have on the rates of such infections.
During the study period, 966 CVADs (mostly venous ports) were implanted in 933 patients, for a combined total of 243,792 catheter-days. We identified 184 episodes of infection: 154 (84%) were bloodstream infections, 21 (11%) were pocket infections, and 9 (5%) were surgical site infections. During the study period, the rate of CVAD-related infection dropped from 2.2 to 0.24 per 1,000 catheter-days (P < .001). Multivariate analysis revealed that relevant risk factors for such infection include surgical reintervention, implantation in a neutropenic patient, in-hospital implantation, use of a cuffed catheter, and nonchemotherapy indication for catheter use.
Establishing a multidisciplinary team specifically focused on CVAD care, together with systematic reporting of infections, appears to reduce the rates of infection related to the use of these devices.
We present results of Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) polarimetric 22 GHz H2O maser observations of a number of low/intermediate mass evolved stars. We observed 3 Miras (Ap Lyn, IK Tau and IRC+60370), 1 semi-regular variable (RT Vir) and 1 pPN (OH231.8+4.2). Circular polarization is detected in the H2O maser region of OH231.8+4.2 and we infer a magnetic field of |B||| = ~45 mG. This implies an extrapolated magnetic field of ~2.5 G on the surface of the central star. The preliminary results on RT Vir and IRC+60370 also indicate the first detection of weak H2O maser linear polarization.
During the transition from an AGB star to a planetary nebula, a large number of low/intermediate initial mass stars loses its spherical symmetry. The process responsible for that change of morphology is, so far, not well understood. The candidates responsible for shaping these objects are (i) a companion to the star (binary/heavy planet) and its tidal forces, (ii) disk interaction and (iii) magnetic fields - or a combination of these. In particular a binary induced magnetic field is a promising option. To study this we observed the polarization of H2O masers in the known binary pre-Planetary Nebula (pPN) OH231.8+4.2. Our results show a magnetic field B|| of ~45 mG is present in the H2O maser region of this pPN.
Nowadays, Si3N4 coatings are used to increase the hardness of 316L-type stainless steel for a wide variety of applications. These coatings are normally prepared by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) or variant techniques such as the hybrid solid-gas precursor system chemical vapor deposition (HYSYCVD), where Na2SiF6 is used as a solid precursor. Within the reaction chamber the Si-F gas species interact with nitrogen precursors to form Si3N4; however, during silicon nitride formation there is always certain amount of residual Si-F gas species which may affect the integrity of the steel surface. Therefore, in this work the effect of the Si-F species on the surface of 316L type stainless steel under argon atmosphere has been investigated. Stainless steel samples were prepared under two surface conditions (abraded and mirror polished), and were exposed to Si-F species considering various parameters such as: argon gas flow rate equal to 10 cm3/min, different temperatures (300, 500, 700, 900°C), and three exposure times (30, 60, 90 minutes). After exposure, the substrates were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results show that the FeF2 phase is formed at low temperatures while the formation of different oxides is directly related to the processing temperature. What is more, these oxides are also strongly influenced by processing time; however temperature is the parameter that most significantly influences the oxides formation.
The legume Arachis hypogaea, commonly known as peanut or groundnut, is a very important food crop throughout the tropics and sub-tropics. The genus is endemic to South America being mostly associated with the savannah-like Cerrado. All species in the genus are unusual among legumes in that they produce their fruit below the ground. This profoundly influences their biology and natural distributions. The species occur in diverse habitats including grasslands, open patches of forest and even in temporarily flooded areas. Based on a number of criteria, including morphology and sexual compatibilities, the 80 described species are arranged in nine infrageneric taxonomic sections. While most wild species are diploid, cultivated peanut is a tetraploid. It is of recent origin and has an AABB-type genome. The most probable ancestral species are Arachis duranensis and Arachis ipaënsis, which contributed the A and B genome components, respectively. Although cultivated peanut is tetraploid, genetically it behaves as a diploid, the A and B chromosomes only rarely pairing during meiosis. Although morphologically variable, cultivated peanut has a very narrow genetic base. For some traits, such as disease and pest resistance, this has been a fundamental limitation to crop improvement using only cultivated germplasm. Transfer of some wild resistance genes to cultivated peanut has been achieved, for instance, the gene for resistance to root-knot nematode. However, a wider use of wild species in breeding has been hampered by ploidy and sexual incompatibility barriers, by linkage drag, and historically, by a lack of the tools needed to conveniently confirm hybrid identities and track introgressed chromosomal segments. In recent years, improved knowledge of species relationships has been gained by more detailed cytogenetic studies and molecular phylogenies. This knowledge, together with new tools for genetic and genomic analysis, will help in the more efficient use of peanut's genetic resources in crop improvement.
Namacotche gem-bearing pegmatites of Alto Ligonha pegmatite district are heterogeneous, strongly fractionated, and have large Li and Ta and extremely large Cs contents. Clay samples were collected in fracture infillings and dilation cavities with gemstones and were studied using X-ray diffraction (XRD), polarized light microscope, scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectroscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and chemical analyses. The <2 μm fraction contains cookeite, illite, illite-smectite and suggested irregular mixed-layer cookeite-smectite, beidellite, montmorillonite, kaolinite and goethite.The XRD patterns of chlorite and their d values suggest the presence of ‘di-trioctahedral chlorite’ similar to cookeite-Ia polytype. Cookeite chemical analyses show that Li contents range from 0.82 to 1.08 atoms per half unit cell.
A close relationship has been established between occurrences of gemstones and clay minerals. Some important textures and crystal chemistry are discussed.The main gemstones related to the Namacotche Pegmatite are: morganite (pink cesian beryl), kunzite (spodumene) and elbaite tourmaline. As the mechanisms responsible for the gemstone formation take place at low temperature, the clay minerals paragenesis cookeite ± cookeite-smectite interstratification ± beidellite + montmorillonite ± illite-smectite interstratification, represents a late-stage secondary paragenesis, generated by hydrothermal alteration.
The colours of natural and synthetic beryl (ideally Be3Al2Si6O18) have been attributed either tothe presence of chromophore ions partially replacing Al and/or Be (Cr3+, Fe2+/3+, Mn2+) or to the occurrence of colour centres related to the presence of multi-atomic groups. However, no full explanation has been proposed for the blue colour in natural beryl gemstones (aquamarine) despite it being well established that bluish-green synthetic aquamarines containing Fe turn blue when heated for 1 h at 400°C.
A X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES) study at the Fe K-edge was performed on blue beryl crystals from Licungo pegmatite (Mozambique) to ascertain the speciation state of this colouring element, reported in blue sapphire (ideally Al2O3) as a mixture of Fe2+ and Fe3+ in octahedral coordination. The general trend of the spectra is the same when synchrotron radiation (SR) impinges along the c axis of the hexagonal crystal, as well as along the a axis with c vertical. Conversely, a shoulder in the absorption edge is noticed when the incident beam is perpendicular to c, with this axis horizontal in the polarization plane of the SR beam, a reverse in the relative intensities of the two post-edge features is simultaneously observed. Pre-edge features accounting for Fe speciation (valence plus coordination) are identical in all three situations. Considering previous approaches which account for polarization, an explanation is suggested for the special effects observed on the Fe K-edge XANES spectra of analysed blue beryl crystals. Ideas on the origin of the blue colour of this mineral are also presented.